Sustainability opportunities

Two women planting


We’re working on opportunities for our community to lead more sustainable lives.  

To view each opportunity, click on the links above, or click Next below.

If you’ve got ideas of sustainable opportunities Council could offer the community, please get in touch with us.

Environment and Waste Minimisation Fund 

The Upper Hutt City Council Environment and Waste Minimisation Fund (formerly Zero Waste and Community Environment Fund) seeks to support practical sustainability initiatives related to environmental protection, waste minimisation, and community resilience.

Application for funding has now closed. Applications were accepted between 1 to 31 May 2022.  

Who can apply

  • Schools.
  • Early childhood education facilities.
  • Community gardens providers and charitable community organisations wishing to partner with existing community gardens providers.
  • Social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.
  • Applicants must operate within the Upper Hutt boundary.

The priorities for funding

  • The extent the project will directly reduce waste to landfill or support initiatives for environmental protection.
  • The extent the project will indirectly reduce waste to landfill or support initiatives for environmental protection through the educational impact on the wider community.
  • The extent the project will build community resilience.
  • The project shows how success will be measured.
  • The likelihood of the project becoming self-sustaining.


Please remember that if you applied and received funding from previous rounds, you need to have completed an accountability form(PDF, 252KB)  to be considered for future funding.

If you have any queries, please contact Upper Hutt City Council (04) 527 2169 or email


Sustainability Stimulus Grant

The Upper Hutt City Council Sustainability Stimulus Grant has closed for the 2021-22 funding round.  The next round is scheduled to be open in October 2022. 

In line with the Council vision ‘We have an outstanding natural environment, leisure, and recreational opportunities, and we are a great place for families to live, work, and play,’ UHCC is reaffirming its commitment to partnering with the community on sustainable projects. 

Council has allocated $100,000 per year to the Grant, for the first three years of the Long Term Plan.  Applications are open to businesses, organisations and individuals.  All applications are required to: 

  • Demonstrate that their project or initiative aligns with one or more of the Sustainability Strategy 2020 goals
  • Demonstrate that their project or initiative will be advantageous to Upper Hutt. 

If you know of a sustainability project a business or organisation are thinking about, or if you have one yourself that you’re keen to get cracking on, we want to hear from you! 

Have a read through the information below, and if you have any questions or would like to discuss your application, please get in touch with us

Find out about the Grant

Background information

In the 2021 Long Term Plan consultation, we asked the community if they would like us to adopt a Sustainability Stimulus Grant program of $100,000 per year for the first three years of the Long Term Plan as a trial.  

Over two thirds of respondents supported the grant. As a result, Council have elected to proceed with the grant, which is designed to support initiatives that will reduce the city’s overall emissions profile, and aid in supporting our sustainability goals. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the Sustainability Stimulus Grant? 

The Sustainability Stimulus Grant is a pool of funds available to help get sustainable projects up and running.  There is $100,000 available per year, for the first three years of the Long Term Plan.  There are two stipulations for the grant: 

  1. Applications must show how they contribute to Councils Sustainability Goals (found in the Sustainability Strategy).

  2. Applications must show how their project or activity will benefit Upper Hutt.  

As the grant is new, we have intentionally left it wide open for applications, so get your thinking cap on! 

Why are we doing this? 

In 2020, Council adopted Sustainability Strategy 2020 for Upper Hutt.  The Strategy has eight goals that will help formulate Council’s overall vision: ‘We have an outstanding natural environment, leisure, and recreational opportunities, and we are a great place for families to live, work, and play.’  

As part of the Strategy, we want to support the community to make progress in achieving the goals.  There is plenty to do in ensuring a stable future going forward. 

Where does the project have to be based? 

As the grant is ratepayer-funded, we want to ensure that the funds benefit Upper Hutt as much as possible.  So, while we don’t stipulate that the project needs to be based in Upper Hutt, you will need to tell us how your project or initiative gives advantage to Upper Hutt, and how it will benefit our community.   

Who can apply? 

Businesses, organisations and individuals can apply.  There are some exemptions: for all the details, please read the Grant Policy(PDF, 99KB).

How much can I apply for? 

The minimum sized grant is $5,000, the maximum is $100,000.  Applicants may be awarded up to 40% of their project cost.  If you are working on a smaller project, please consider if the Environment and Waste Minimisation Fund is an option for you.

What is the process? 

Once the application window has closed, the Sustainability Stimulus Grant Disbursement Panel will review the applications and allocate funding.  Any requests for funding of more than $50,000 will require a Council resolution.  In this instance, the Panel will make a recommendation to the Policy Committee, who will make the final decision.  These applicants may support their application in person at the Policy Committee meeting.

When is it happening? 

The grant will open for applications 28 October, and close 28 February.  We are expecting that the panel will make their decision in March.  

Why is the application period so long? 

We want to give people plenty of time to consider their project, get quotes together, and put together a quality application.  

How do I apply? 

Easy! Head to the application form.  We recommend that you read through the Policy in full(PDF, 99KB), as well as Council’s Sustainability Strategy before you submit your application.  Once you’ve started your application, you can save it and come back to it later if you need to. 

If you have any further questions, please contact us - we're here to help.

2021-2022 Grant Recipients

  1. Ken Mercer: Funding received $10,000

    Project: Indigenous Forest restoration and predator control. 

    This project will see two hectares of land in Upper Hutt restored to indigenous forest reminiscent of pre-human times.  An extensive predator trapping, and bait programme will be part of the project.  It is expected that the project will sequester approximately 2 tCO2e per year in the first 10 years, before increasing to 7 tCO2e.  Ultimately the forest will sequester 720 tCO2e when mature.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: emission reduction, biodiversity.

  2. Leda Extrusions NZ Ltd: Funding received $15,000

    Project: Water infrastructure. 

    This project will significantly reduce the applicant’s reliance on the potable water supply by four million litres per year.  This is the equivalent water use of 51 Upper Hutt residents per year.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: water conservation.

  3. Rimutaka Baptist Church: Funding received $10,000

    Project: Food programme. 

    This project will see a food programme expanded to become a circular initiative and incorporate gardens and composting systems for the programme to grow their own food and establish a ‘shopping experience’ for users.  The programme will assist 200 people a week in the Northern Upper Hutt suburbs.  Almost all the current users are from outside the church community.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: resilient community.

  4. Greenback Ltd and Pollinator Paths: Funding received $20,000

    Project: An initiative to engage and motivate communities to grow plants for climate action and adaptation outcomes. 

    This project will see Community Growathons developed to help communities grow for climate action and adaptation while measuring the outcomes and contribution to biodiversity across Upper Hutt.  The project will also incorporate composting solutions and a community event.

    The project aims to attract 3,500 residents to the programme in the first year.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: education, emission reduction, biodiversity, community resilience, waste reduction.

  5. Silver Stream Railway Incorporated: Funding received $5,474

    Project: Water storage.

    This project will see the installation of two 10,000L water tanks to harvest rainwater, meaning the applicant will be able to stop relying on the potable water supply for their steam locomotives in the first instance.  It is anticipated that up to 96,000L of rainwater may be captured per month.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: water conservation

  6. Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, Upper Hutt Branch: Funding received $13,235 in year one.  The Panel further committed to funding the project $6,840 in year two, and $6,840 in year three to ensure longevity of the project.

    Project: Pest eradication programme.

    This project will see an extensive pest control programme take place to link the key native ecosystems of Keith George Memorial Park and Akatarawa Forest.  It will involve surveying, cutting, and marking 4km of tracks and placing bait stations at 100m intervals along these tracks, alongside the existing bush edge, and forestry road access ways.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, carbon reduction.

  7. 4 A Better City Trust: Funding received $20,000
    Project: Centre of Regenerative Learning.

    This project will see a Centre of Regenerative Learning set up; a proof-of-concept regenerative organic farm, regenerative organic farm teaching centre, and a climate change mitigation data collection hub focussed on growing fruit, vegetables and  community composting.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment:
    Resilient community, education.








Assess your home

Eco Design Advisor

Get free advice to make your house warm, dry, healthy and more energy efficient.

What is it?

An Eco Design Advisor is an independent advisor that can visit your home and give you free advice on energy efficiency for new and existing homes.  During the two hour consultation, the following topics can be covered:

  • how to make your home warm and comfortable
  • heating options 
  • insulation options and advice
  • moisture and mould
  • how to fix draughts
  • ventilation and ventilation systems
  • hot water systems
  • windows and coverings

Please note: free assessments are only available when funding allows. 

How do I make an appointment?

The Eco Design Advisor is based in Lower Hutt at Hutt City Council.  If you would like to request an appointment, you can contact them on or 04 570 6666.



Developed by the New Zealand Green Building Council, HomeFit is an online check designed to improve your home to keep it warm, dry and safe.  Designed for home owners, renters and landlords, once you have answered some questions about your house, you'll receive an impartial report on how it could be improved.

Climate change speaking event

We were thrilled to partner with Whirinaki Whare Taonga to sponsor the Meltdown: Visualising  Climate Change exhibition and support the climate change speaking event held in March.  The experts were: 

Dave Lowe: Atmospheric scientist who has been working on climate change for 50 years, having worked with Charles David Keeling to record atmospheric carbon at Baring Head in Wellington.   

Dave was a lead author of the 2007 IPCC report that received a Nobel Peace Prize, and his book ‘the Alarmist’ has become a Victoria University Press best seller. His work has been featured on several documentaries – one for New Zealand Geographic, and another as part of the Netflix  ‘Stories of a Generation’ series. He won the Environmental Category at the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards (Welly Awards) last year.  

James Renwick: Commissioner with the Climate Change Commission, and a Professor at Victoria University specialising in Climate Change.  In 2018 he won the Prime Ministers Science Prize for communication.  He was a lead author for the IPCC’s fourth and fifth Assessment reports, as well as a coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s sixth Assessment Report. 

Cr Sophie Handford: Sophie was the national coordinator for the School Strike for climate in New Zealand, where she mobilised 170,000 people.  She is the youngest person to be elected as a Councillor in New Zealand and serves as an Elected Member on the Kāpiti Coast District Council. 

Upper Hutt City Council Strategic Policy Manager Rob Thomas was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, held in the Gillies Group Theatre, at Whirinaki Whare Taonga.

If you missed it, you can watch a recording of the event below.